After designing many websites for clients, the same things always come up and need to be thought about, before you start getting your site built.
What type of website do I need?
If you’ve never been involved in setting up a website before, I will start simple. Create a small website and get it ‘Live’ quickly; this is an excellent way of getting your ideas flowing. After a month or so, you will start seeing what’s working for you and what isn’t. You don’t want to jump into website feet first, pay out a fortune for something that isn’t right. Take your time.
So now you’re ready to expand your website, you have experimented and got an idea what you want, now what?
Answering the following questions should give you the answers you need:
1) Will your website have a high amount of traffic and need to be security conscious?
If it is, then you will need to use a robust programming language rather than WordPress, which although 98% there, still has issues with security and speed.
2) Is your website all about SEO and getting ranked well in search engines?
Then you need to get involved in Social Media and have a blog attached to your website. Your website can be built to be SEO friendly, but to be honest, even if you do everything Google says to do. If it doesn’t read write or look right, customers will not contact so it’s all about getting a balance.
3) Is your website likely to be used with-in a marketing team and other none-technical people?
Then it needs to have CMS back-end, where people can log in and change the copy of the website easily. WordPress is miles ahead for this type of website service; if your website is all about getting people to contact via phone or email, then WordPress is ideal.
4) If your website going to have shopping facilities or a high-end booking system?
The more complicated technically your website is, and more significant in size. WordPress isn’t going to work for you, and you need to employ a programmer and start using the various Frameworks.
5) Understanding your customers. If you spend the time to understand them, you can answer some questions on how your website should be designed and built.
You may find they only access online via phones as they work outside of an office environment, so maybe an App will work for them.
Or, you may find they work unusual hours, so cannot get on the phone between 9-5, so having an easy way to get what they are after on the website is a must-have. Like a sound booking system.
People have busy lives, so thinking like you in their shoes can help. You are giving them as many ways to access your products and services easily. Whether this is a Newsletter, FAQ page, Video and Support Facilities. Are all going to work for your website.
4) Look at your competitors; if you look at what they have done, on their website, you will see what your customers are after.
You may see they have a chat box for their customers; chances are what-ever your competitors have, means you customers are asking for this. So well worth thinking of mirroring something similar on your website.
7) When should planning be important?
The more planning and thought done before development/build time of your website, the better.
Once your website is built, doing changes will take much longer as writing code is very redundant compared to design/prototyping.
So it may take longer in the whole process to get something ‘Live’. But you know when you get to the result you are happy with it, and not stuck in a situation when you are trying to amend a website, that just hasn’t been built correctly and is difficult to change.